Firms target hard to recycle plastic packaging reduction with biodegradable alternative

Hydropol resin pellets.

Packaging firm DS Smithand and Aquapak, a developer of biodegradable polymer, are teaming up to develop sustainable fibre based packaging solutions that they say will replace hard to recycle packaging made from combined materials such as cardboard and plastic.

After a period of pilot trials with the combined materials, focusing on both performance and recyclability, the partnership will now begin developing practical applications. This includes a range of fibre-based packaging where traditional plastic films can be replaced with Aquapak’s HydropolTM, a biodegradable and water-soluble polymer that the firm says will help to improve the recycling process.

DS Smith says its exclusive partnership with Aquapak will support the company’s long-term sustainability targets which include manufacturing 100 per cent reusable or recyclable packaging by 2025. With a focus on tackling hard to recycle items, the adoption of this biodegradable technology will allow for less contamination in the recycling and paper-making process.

Nick Thompson, Materials Development Director for DS Smith commented: “We are proud to be partnering with Aquapak in developing a fully recyclable packaging alternative to non-recyclable plastics. Aquapak’s technological advances in novel barrier chemistries combined with our broad range of packaging applications can help us work together to solve many of the most pressing packaging recyclability issues. The impact will be immediate, and our aims are aligned in bringing a much greater circularity to recyclable packaging products.”

Mark Lapping, CEO, Aquapak Polymers said: “It is exciting to see opportunities for our innovative polymer coming to fruition through our partnership with DS Smith. Both organisations are committed to eliminating plastic-pollution at the source and by working together, we can help speed up the roll out of recyclable, biodegradable packaging that is designed for the circular economy as well as being safe for land and sea.”

Working closely with customers, the firms say the partnership “brings an opportunity to reduce single-use plastic pollution and support successful recycling for both consumers and recyclers.”